tv Grand Opening of the American Writers Museum CSPAN July 3, 2017 6:12pm-6:24pm EDT
we are bringing you live dedicated coverage of the u.s. senate passed the senate today holding a pro forma session are normally very brief, no legislative businesses being conduct today through the senate gavel that last week for the july 4 recess. typically during a pro forma session the senator comes to the floor to moderate but no one has yet arrived. it was actually supposed to start at 6:00 p.m. but we will bring you live coverage of the senate when a senator does come to gavel the session in. go back to the american writers museum grand opening until the senate returns to session. >> i think the choice of the city in which to locate this
wonderful new museum couldn't be better and i say that as an ardent -- and someone who loves new york. couldn't be better. [applause] there's something so american about this part of our country having just spent so many years writing about the wright brothers were example and then another project that i'm working on now. i realized that you have qualities and is part of our country that you don't find so conspicuously on display everywhere else. you remember modesty? you don't get too big for your britches or that your mother might wash your mouth out with soap if you use bad language. those fundamental rules of good behavior are real and valuable.
we must never lose them just as we must never lose the sense of who we are and why we are the way we are. i think that it once happened in this museum and it certainly happened to me, it is a huge reminder of your own story. i was looking at the display of all the different faces of so many writers. i don't know how many there are and it suddenly struck me as i looked at those that i liked most of all. how many of them were women? and you want to start thinking about equality for women, take a look at the great female authors and poets of our country's history. i think flannery o'connor is someone i keep going back to again and again and again.
it's not just masterpieces it's a major, major event in our story as a people. i feel the same way about so many others. not just a fantastic writer but fantastic intellect and one of the points that comes across when you are writing and when you are reading what people have written is the importance of thinking. people ask me how much of my time do i spend writing and how much of my time do i spend reading. nobody asked me how much it might time do i spend thinking. one of my favorite moments in my work on john adams reading through his diaries coming to a point several times. imagine the entry for the day says at home thinking.
imagine if we had people in public life that could honestly write that as your entry for the day. i also feel very strongly if you are researching or trying to understand people of our past male, female whatever, it's as important to read what they have read as important to read what they wrote because in there you find the essence of attitude, outlook, anger, heartbreak, whatever it is. one of adam's most charming of all letters that he wrote to his children to his son john quincy who is doing everything just right in these studies in the netherlands and the father wrote to say you've got to read more than just what they are signing at the university. and he said you will never be
alone with a poet in your pocket carry the poet with you. wonderful, wonderful line and how powerful is the work of these people that are representative here. and all of that work is still as alive as the day they wrote it and that life can come back to us and come back to our children. i can imagine any young person coming into this wonderful new library without going away inspired, having their their imaginations opened up and their sense of possibilities enlarged. just the spring we had to major museums open. the other just opened in philadelphia, the museum of the american revolution.
spectacular museum and then this one. >> would you like a drink? >> oh no, that's her right thank you. it must be all the ideas in the air. [applause] to have those two museums, landmarks in the two cities, to very great cities open now not in just the 19th century but now it's a prime evidence that we are still alive -- thank you, to the importance of understanding our culture, our past, our story. we are stories. that's what history is, stories. i don't consider myself though i understand why people label me in the story, i never majored in
history. i have no ph.d. in history. i am a writer only i write about what happened as best as i can find out and of course you've can't find out everything. i know for certain that my approach to how i work derives from the approach of many of the writers that i most admire and particularly gordon wilder who i'm glad to see this up on the scoreboard there. and his play, our town, where he took people who were nobody and turned them into a wonderful story, very revealing, very aspiring story a great american story and that can be true of
real people no less than it can be true of the creations of the creative mind. read, read, read. that's the message. [applause] and don't let anybody ever tell you, no matter how important they may think they are, the looks don't matter. looks do matter. books need to be promoted and encouraged and the younger the better. that's part of the reason i love this. [applause] may see lazy bird hatching her eggs i'm tired and bored sitting here sitting here day after day is work how i hated, i'd much rather put play.
horton hatches the ag, right? indelible. [laughter] congratulations to all of you who have done so much to make this happen. you've done something not just important for your city, for chicago or our country and may they come from every part of the country to soak up the intellectual artistic cultural energy of this great city and you can take a lot of credit for it for the rest of your lives. you made it happen. [applause] >> thank you mr. mccullough. thank you everyone who has been here. at this point we would like to bring out the ribbon which we will ask our panel appeared to help us cut. give us one second.